MacBook Pro in for Repair

A little rant:

Yesterday, my admiration for Apple and its products has diminished slightly after dealing with an Apple Store SoHo Genius (whose name isn't James). I realize how easy it is to get captured by the Apple media and propaganda, but I also realize how easy it is to dislike Apple for its practices of simplicity at the expense of control. For example, there is no reason an Apple-branded USB to Ethernet adapter can be used only for the MacBook Air.

How Apple does things, it does very well. What Apple does, though, sometimes doesn't sit well with even the most die-hard of Apple fans.

I feel like saying Apple does not genuinely care for its customers (most big and successfully companies don't). But I would have to remind myself that Apple, Inc. is a company after all and in it for the engineering, design, and business.

Bad Weather, Sad Day

Today was a downright bad day. I mean, bad in the sense of bad weather. Once I was indoors, though, the day was quite good. At work in Hicksville, I spent most of the day figuring out my remaining years at Cornell. High winds and loud rain lasted all day. There was no sense of blue outside; nothing but gray skies and low heavy clouds.

How sad.

Days Without Seeing Clearly

I had come to the realization that I have been depending much too much on my glasses. I have attempted and succeeded in going one entire day without using my glasses. I'm not sure if that's a good thing; I might get hit by a car whose headlights are not turned on (in the dark, early morning). Plus, it isn't healthy for eyes with poor vision to stress itself beyond its means to focus.

Personally, I sense my surroundings by depending more on hearing and by vaguely seeing relative shapes, motion, and people's demeanor. I use the example of seeing people in a hallway at school or in the office. While its difficult to see the person's facial expressions, it's relatively trivial to "see" who that person is. Clarity, however, is always welcomed.

Getting Drobo-tized

I am waiting on the Drobo I ordered last Saturday. I had put in the order for two SATA drives on Friday. Both packages are expected to be delivered some time today. I cannot wait, though the turn-around time has been impressively quick.

1 Drobo with USB 2.0 and Firewire 800
2 Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Black SATA HDD

I had purchased an Airport Extreme this summer, so once I get everything in place, I will have a sort of NAS + RAID system. This should make life more interesting, but more importantly, it keeps everything backed-up and running for everyone even when I am not around. Awesome!

From the Drobo website: "The safe, expandable Drobo™ storage solution protects your data against a hard drive crash, yet can expand dynamically at any time in just seconds. With nothing to configure or manage, Drobo is now the ideal solution for primary storage as well as backup."

Cleaned Up Back-log for Flickr

I have gone through all the photos I was planning on posting to Flickr. Most of the older things I did not post are either too personal or unimportant photos.

What a relief.

Windows Vista eXPerience

Yesterday, wanting to do something productive, I went about spiffying up my resume, updating my GPA (for the higher, thank goodness), National Grid employment, and technical skills. I noticed that I had put "Windows 95/98/2000/XP". It didn't feel right. I wanted to add Vista on that list for the heck of it, and maybe remove 95/98 since they no longer mattered.

I have no personal gripes with the year-old Windows Vista; or at least, not as the general scorn of Vista has been portrayed lately. I just had no reason to use Windows anymore. I was dying to find a reason -- any reason -- for using it; I really wanted to try out Vista. So, in order to update the resume to read "Windows XP/Vista", I wanted to try it out for a week to feel out how it works, how it differs from the Windows I knew, and how it does things in general.

Vista, so it would appear to me, oozes of the smell that is Microsoft. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, except the times when I do. Under all that flash and bubbly, vista-y GUI, it was the little things that I found difficult. I mean, it ran fine and I had easy access to the programs. But there was something about it that was just a little off.

I can't say that it merely is a matter of getting used to the new version. Buttons and fuctionality just felt slightly out of place. I'm sure I can get used to it if I really needed to, but I don't think I would want to go through all the pain if I had a choice. (Heck, I finally started using Microsoft Outlook here in the office because I needed it for e-mail.) I have been using the Mac OS here and there since 1998, but I have also been using Windows up until 2006, from about 1995, as my main computer. It was only until 2006 when I got my own Mac and switched exlusively. That comes out to 3 years for Mac and give or take 15 years for Windows.

So I don't think it is a matter of getting used to the Vista (though I understand it is significantly different from the XP experience I knew inside and out).

If anyone has any Vista tips, please share them with me.

Cleaning the MacBook Pro

Today, Apple announced the next-generation MacBook and MacBook Pro. Being envious of the new slick look and usability designs, I started to clean and polish my first-generation MacBook Pro. This is kind of like having your car feel and run better after a simple car wash. Haha. Silly psychological schemes.

Lack of Sleep is Catching Up to Me

Today is Columbus Day, and here I am, in the office.

It all started with the three-hour nap I took last night late in the afternoon that only caused me to feel energized before I was supposed to go to bed for an early rise this morning. Aside from the fact that I woke up more tired than usual, the morning was rather routine. That is, until I got to the subway station and then realized I had forgotten my lunch AND breakfast. I had been prepared to eat well today. (I did not plan to bring my computer today because of the extra food.)

Shortly after arriving at the office, I learned that my supervisor and two others from my group are going to be out today. Just great! If only I had something to do. Actually, I do; unfortunately, not really. (I don't even get my Mac to play around with either.)

I guess I can look forward to the $6 lunch today, which would have otherwise been healthier, more tasty, and essentially free than what they are serving in the cafeteria.

I had tea and Wheat Thins for breakfast.

Omega UT1

Having completed the Omega SE1 about one month ago, I have decided to continue on drawing the Omega UT1, the first SUV of the series.

I plan the Omega line-up to look like something like this:

SE for Sedan (a 4-door car)
SP for Sport (a "nicer", slightly larger version of the SE)
CP for Coupe (a 2-door car)
UT for Utility (a compact SUV)
LT for Large (a full-size SUV)
W for Special (the special-edition vehicle)

(I do not yet know if the Omega brand will carry the VN for Minivan and TR for Truck. Probably not.)

Sadly, I have given up on three-dimensionalizing the car because I haven't drawn the original car to take into account extrusions (which is still probably the wrong way of making the car 3-D). I will stick with Front-Side-Rear views for now.

Life Lesson: Money

Two nights ago, I had a conversation over dinner with someone I'd like to call "Grandpa". He is well into his 80's and, fortunately for me, has much to say about a lot of things. We talked about investing in the stock market, thinking about retirement options, and operating a small business. We talked about money and how it is possible to start with very little and end up, as he has, with more. He said something that struck a chord with me:

Money is only good for making more money.

I have learned over the past few years that, for me, money is merely a means to an end, rather than be the end itself. That is not to say we do not need to have it to live. Life situations may vary by the way we are brought up, by what I call indirectly inherited wealth, whether it is physically given to you or not. This inhereited wealth includes food, a dinner table to put it on, a place you can call home, and even life lessons taught over time. We should never lose sight of what we generally take for granted. There is not enough appreciation and gratitude these days. (I am at fault as well.)

P.S. ... which brings me back to photography. In the end, I do not expect to be a professional photographer. In the end, it does not bring food to the table and pay the bills. While it is definitely an art worth practicing and is not a waste of money, I realized there is no reason to jump into such an expensive hobby so quickly. Paraphrasing what my father told me just this weekend, spending and indulging on things that make you a better person and a more effective worker is okay in moderation. More importantly, do not spend money that you don't have. Do not count on the money of others.

P.P.S. Since I have thought about this topic of money more carefully, I have gotten better at Texas Hold'Em on my iPhone. Having money is a great feeling when you are able to pressure the poorer players to elimination. But at the same time, every hand is, to some degree, a gamble.